SA facing an opportunity for change - Smart

Erroll Smart

Erroll Smart

6th September 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


Font size: - +

PERTH ( – Copper developer Orion Minerals MD and CEO Errol Smart believes that South Africa is standing at a crossroads in terms of the country’s mining future.

Speaking at the Paydirt Africa Downunder conference, in Perth, Smart noted that there was "incredible mineral potential" in South Africa. While there were a lot of challenges, the country also offered significant opportunities.

“South Africa has the opportunity to go through major change that could completely change the investment landscape going forward,” Smart said.

“South Africa is starting to recognise the challenge and starting to react to it. We see that business is stepping into a vacuum. We see that the regulator, the government and industry are starting to walk hand-in-hand. It's not going to change everything overnight. Things are going to take a little bit of time to change.

“There's a lot to fix, but it is going to get fixed, and the upside is enormous. And that's what we've got to be focused on. We've got to stop crying over the missed opportunity and look at this great opportunity that's going to emerge from it. Because the minerals are in the ground. The people are good. And there's a lot that can be done. We're in a very interesting space in the mineral economy in the world, and it's the right time for South Africa to step forward again and grow,” Smart said.

Orion is building its Prieska copper/zinc mine in South Africa, where a 2020 bankable feasibility study (BFS) estimated that the project would require a capital investment of A$413-million to produce some 22 000 t/y of copper and 70 000 t/y of zinc over an initial 12-year mine life, based on a 2.4-million-tonne-a-year operation.

The company has adjusted the development plan for Prieska.

The early production scenario will enable revenue generation and potentially reduce upfront external funding requirements by phasing the mine build. It allows for scaling up to the full-scale project outlined in the BFS as sufficient funding becomes available.

A BFS for the early mining development plan at Prieska is still in the works and targeted for completion later this year.

Orion recently awarded a six-month trial mining contract to P2 Mining, a subsidiary of South African mining contractor Newrak Mining Group, to undertake the early works trial underground mining programme at Prieska.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


Latest Multimedia

Latest News

Magazine cover image
Magazine round up | 08 December 2023
8th December 2023



Multotec, recognised industry leaders in metallurgy and process engineering help mining houses across the world process minerals more efficiently,...

Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions
Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions

Sandvik Rock Processing Solutions is a leading supplier of equipment, tools, parts, service and solutions for processing rock and minerals in the...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.235 0.271s - 113pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now